Assessing IP-related agreements under the Technology Transfer Block Exemption Regulation
Assessing IP-related agreements under the Technology Transfer Block Exemption Regulation

The following Competition practice note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Assessing IP-related agreements under the Technology Transfer Block Exemption Regulation
  • Scope and duration of the TTBE
  • Scope of the TTBE
  • Duration of the TTBE
  • Classification of parties as competitors or non-competitors
  • Market shares thresholds
  • ‘Hardcore’ restrictions and excluded restrictions
  • ‘Hardcore’ restrictions
  • Excluded restrictions
  • Non-application or withdrawal of the TTBE
  • More...

Intellectual property laws confer exclusive rights on holders of patents, copyright, design rights, trademarks and other legally protected rights. The owner of intellectual property rights (IPRs) is entitled to prevent unauthorised use of its intellectual property and to exploit it, for example, by licensing it to third parties. At the same time, this right of exploitation does not mean that IPRs are immune from competition law intervention. As any other agreement, agreements concerning IPRs (eg licenses allowing the licensee to exploit the licensor’s IPRs) have to be compatible with Article 101(1) TFEU.

For most potential licensees and licensors, a first step in determining the compatibility of their arrangements with EU competition law will be to assess whether they may benefit from a block exemption regulation. The block exemption regulation that is most likely to apply to an IP licence is the Technology Transfer Block Exemption Regulation (TTBE, Regulation 316/2014), the latest version of which came into force on 1 May 2014 and expires on 30 April 2026. Article 2 of the TTBE exempts technology transfer agreements from the scope of Article 101(1) TFEU. This Practice Note sets out the scope of the TTBE and explains the conditions technology transfer agreements have to fulfil to benefit from it.

Scope and duration of the TTBE

Scope of the TTBE

The TTBE only applies to agreements that qualify as ‘technology transfer

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